It was no different this year, the constant chatter over whether Virgil van Dijk could line up against Norwich City and who would join Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in attack.
These issues were all resolved after the team sheet fell an hour before kickoff at Carrow Road.
But while the identity of those involved last weekend was of significant intrigue, attention shifted to another debate on Saturday that could ultimately prove more decisive in shaping Liverpool’s squad for the rest. of the season and beyond.
Which players will Jurgen Klopp leave out against Burnley at Anfield?
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The Reds boss has made no secret of the fact that his team is, if not very heavy, then certainly packed.
This was seen in the pre-season double friendly against Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, when Klopp was able to field two completely different starting XIs while still having recognized senior players on the bench.
The circumstances meant that the issue was hardly a topic of discussion in Norwich.
Andy Robertson and Nat Phillips were injured, Curtis Jones was ineligible due to concussion protocols and neither Jordan Henderson nor Thiago Alcantara were considered ready to be included after their late return to pre-training training. season, the latter also carrying a minor injury.
Against Burnley, however, it’s likely that only Robertson won’t be available. Even with nine substitutes allowed on the Premier League bench again this season, it gives Klopp a selection headache.
And that can send a signal to a number of players that they might be better served by plying their trade elsewhere – which in turn could free up space for a late newcomer or two.
Of course, having a nearly full team is a rare luxury. Last season’s injuries reminded him.
Every player will undoubtedly be needed at some point in the campaign. But they rightly want as many minutes as possible, and if an early pecking order becomes apparent, it can sway minds.
Some problems could be solved naturally. Ben Woodburn, for example, was on the bench at Norwich but is expected to be on loan with Scottish side Hearts currently leading a long line-up.
Xherdan Shaqiri, not involved last weekend, is expected to move to Liverpool pending the return of Lyon with an improved offer for the Switzerland international, who continues to court a number of other potential suitors.
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There is also a debate about the future of Phillips. His preseason outings were limited and with Van Dijk back as a starter and Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate all available, he probably wouldn’t have made the team at Norwich anyway.
Divock Origi benched but hasn’t started either of the last two friendlies, with a second substitute before Saturday possibly between the Belgian and Takumi Minamino.
And the likely returns from Henderson and Thiago mean that at least one of the senior midfielder options is almost certain not to make the 20 on the weekend if everyone is available.
Then there are young defenders Neco Williams and Rhys Williams, who were not involved in East Anglia. Klopp would prefer that the former remain as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s reinforcement while the latter’s immediate future may depend on whether Phillips remains in place.
Last season there were League Cup matches in which marginal players and youngsters could claim the first team.
That tenure, however, after Burnley comes only a successful visit from Champions League winners Chelsea before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Klopp will undoubtedly want to field his strongest side possible for the game against the Londoners.
Saturday’s clash against Burnley could therefore be more instructive in determining who can expect to play a major role for Liverpool this season – and who may not.